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Security & privacy

Careful where you selfie: Hackers are using WFH photos to steal your info

There’s nothing hackers love more than when you make their job easy. One of the best ways to expose private information is to snap a picture of your home office and tag it as #WorkFromHome. Sure, it’s a fun trend that connects you with others while working in isolation…but it’s also the perfect opportunity for bad guys to snatch personal details.

It’s easy to make this critical mistake when you’ve just started working from home. After all, we’re all adjusting to the new normal, staying productive and turning on the camera for online meetings. Tap or click here for some helpful tips on working from home.

When you’re proud of your home office setup, it’s tempting to snap a selfie and share it with the world — but think twice before you hit “Post.” Hawk-eyed hackers can take a single detail from your background and pinpoint sensitive data, including corporate secrets. Here’s what you should do to keep your home office safe.

Don’t overshare online

You may think it’s harmless to snap a smiling photo of yourself standing in front of your home computer. In reality, there are a ton of factors that should set off alarm bells. For starters, double-check your screen — you may have left some confidential information up for the world to see.

If you post a selfie online, potential cybercriminals can zoom in and see the contents of your computer screen. If you left up an email from your boss, now they know which email address to use to target your team with Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks.

That’s right: Tons of hackers will masquerade as high-level company leaders to break into your computer. It’s a tricky form of a phishing attack.

This happened to the Komando team a while ago. Team members got urgent messages from CEO Barry Young that said, “I need you for an urgent matter. Please send me your cellphone number.” Instead of immediately following the email’s orders, we did our due diligence. We reached out to him through separate channels, asking, “Was it really you who sent that email?”

It’s a good thing we took that step because hackers could have infiltrated our entire database if we hadn’t. Cybercriminals love this tactic because it takes just one employee to click a malicious link for the malware devils to rampage through the company’s network.

Now that everyone’s working from home, phishing scams are exploding in popularity. Tap or click here to find out how to spot an email trying to convince you it’s from your boss.

Bottom line: Always watch your background

Otherwise, you could leak all sorts of sensitive data. We’re not just talking about email addresses: you can also reveal your colleagues’ names, private web pages and even secret software that your company uses.

For example, let’s say you use NordVPN, which was recently hacked. When a hacker sees the software’s icon on your desktop, it’s like a lightbulb just started shining over his or her head. They just found an easy way to break into your computer.

That’s why it’s critical to have a VPN that you can trust. Try the VPN that Kim uses and trusts, our sponsor ExpressVPN. Get 3 months free when you sign up for one year at ExpressVPN.com/Kim.

This goes for any other program. At this point, data breaches happen almost every day. Popular websites and software are constantly under attack, and when hackers break in, they often leak username and password information all over the Dark Web.

When you upload a selfie of your home office, you’re giving bad guys a golden opportunity. They’ll often scroll through popular hashtags like #WorkFromHome, #RemoteWork and #HomeOffice in search of this data. Don’t give it to them!

If you still want to upload a photo of your home office setup, blur the background. This is a great trick to boot cyber invaders off your personal trail. Tap or click here for a free and powerful photo-editing tool.

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